________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 2. . . .September 15, 2017


Liam Takes a Stand.

Troy Wilson. Illustrated by Josh Holinaty.
Toronto, ON: Owlkids Books, 2017.
32 pp., hardcover, $18.95.
ISBN 978-1-77147-161-9.

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8.

Review by Meredith Cleversey.

**** /4



When Lister joined the track team, Lester came running. When Lester joined the swim team, Lister dove in, too. And they both rocked the art club at exactly the same time.

They were constantly competing with each other.

Sometimes Lister won, and sometimes Lester won. But their little brother, Liam?

Liam never won.

Mostly, he just wanted to play with them. But Lister and Lester didnít have time for that.


Lister and Lester are twins who like to compete. Liam is their younger brother, but the twins are too busy outdoing one another to spend any time with him. When Lister and Lester both start lemonade stands, Liam spends his time saving up money (and apples) by helping people around his neighbourhood. When he uses his savings to start his own apple juice stand, his product proves so popular it puts both of his brothers out of business, and soon the twins bargain play time with their brother in exchange for the chance to work as his employee.

internal art     Liam Takes a Stand, written by Troy Wilson and illustrated by Josh Holinaty, is a fun story about sibling rivalry and finding a balance between work and play. Liam just wants to spend time with his brothers, but they think heís a hindrance to their success. While trying to show them how hard he can work so theyíll let him help, Liam hatches a clever plan to really get the twinsí attention. His simple apple juice stand outdoes the flashy lemonade stands of his brothers because the twins are so preoccupied with competing, they donít pay attention to the quality of the work they are doing. Liamís venture is a huge success because of his focus on creating a good product and his understanding of the need to mix work with play. The fun twist on the ending of this story is that Lister and Lester wind up bargaining play time with their little brother, keeping the twinsí actions true to their characters while also allowing all three siblings to finally spend time together.

internal art     Josh Holinatyís illustrations do a great job of highlighting the action and chaos of the competing twinsí gimmicks. As Lister and Lesterís businesses become more and more outlandish, the illustrations show the signs, the performers, and the physical enormity of their lemonade stands. Holinaty also makes interesting use of backgrounds in this book. The twinsí illustrations feature mostly white backgrounds, while Liamís backgrounds tend to be full of colour and scenery, suggesting that Lister and Lesterís obsession with competition makes them oblivious to the world around them. Only once the twins finally take a break from competing and start to work (and play) together do they experience the bright, cheerful world their little brother lives in.

     Perfect for anyone with a competitive friend or sibling, Liam Takes a Stand shows that work, play, and a bit of creativity can make even the fiercest competitions a lot of fun.

Highly Recommended.

Meredith Cleversey, a librarian in Cambridge, ON, loves to read, write, and live in a world of pure imagination.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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